QUESTION & ANSWER

Many lasts were made until the ultimate anatomical shape was developed.

What are the shoes made of?

All materials coming into direct contact with your feet are eudermic, natural and bought in Europe:

We use non-toxic, breathable yet water-repellent Piñatex® for our vegan shoes. Piñatex® is a natural, innovative and patented new textile, made from pineapple leaf fibres gathered by partner farming cooperatives in the Philippines, finished in Spain.
The fibres are the by-product of the pineapple harvest; no pineapples are harmed and no extra land, water, pesticides or fertilisers are required to produce the raw material.
In Europe no animal dies for it’s skin. Leather is only optained from food production and is still an unbeatable material for shoes. We only use European leather that is tanned with vegetables and dyed without any harmful substances. Compared to leather that receives a colour-coating our eco-leather has a natural finish and can show scars, stains, toolmarks and variations in colour. We use for our uppers ultra-soft and breathable ecopell®. Ecopell® is regularly controlled and certified anti-allergic.

All shoes have a lining and insole-cover of fair traded organic cotton and/or vegetable tanned Portuguese cowskin.
To better resist abresion we use very flexible outer soles of a rubber-mix. We decided against natural caoutchouk because it means destruction of forest and monoculture with pesticides. Organic caoutchuk is still very rare on the world market and for us not available.

The laces are made of a cotton. As soon as we reach certain order quantities we will be able to buy organic cotton laces.

All shoes are suitable for people suffering from latex or chrome and nickel allergy.

How do I care for my shoes?

To keep your shoes in top condition, we recommend to nourish them before first use and thereafter on a regular basis.

This applies to your leather shoes as well as to your shoes of Piñatex®, textile, leatherette, cork or other…
First you carefully remove dirt and dust with a brush or damp cloth.

Then you leave the shoes to dry, but never on or close to a heater! In case the shoes are really wet, stuff them with newsprint while drying.

Now you apply a transparent or colour-matching shoe polish. Please do our environment and your health a favour and choose CFC- and solvent-free care products without nano particles and mineral oil.

Keep in mind that some care products might stain or darken your leather temporarily or permanently. Please always make a material test in an inconspicuous place and wait few minutes before you treat the complete shoe.

We are very happy to have found a suitable care product for all your shoes!
You can buy our purely plant-based eco-friendly jojoba shoe care directly in our webshop.
There you’ll find more information about the high-quality and all-purpose Jojoba-Schuhpflege made in Germany.

Where are the shoes made?

Our shoes are passionately designed in Berlin/ Germany, and masterfully crafted in a small modern factory in Portugal.

Who wears these shoes?

We deliberately do not differentiate by gender and do not show you any ladies/ men or girls/ boys categories.

Everyone should decide for themselves which gender they feel they belong to and which fashion they want to wear. We do not want to restrict this freedom of choice.

Our shoes are designed for those who want to do something good for their feet.

They are made not only for forefoot-walkers but also beginners and curious souls, who want to experience how walking in skin-friendly ergonomic shoes with thin pliable soles feels. Especially blind people benefit from feeling the ground under their feet.
If you’re new to the field of barefoot-shoes give yourself and your feet time to get used to a more conscious way of walking and feeling the ground and do not immediately wear minimal shoes non-stop for many hours.

All shoes are suitable for people suffering from latex or chrome and nickel allergy.

Why barefoot or minimal-shoes?

Most of us were born with healthy feet. The German Schuhinstitut (footwear institute) found out that already three quartes of all primary school kids in Germany have deformed feet. Deformations are not inherited and result in postural deformities of our whole body and can cause chronical deseases and pain at older ages. The reason in our society clearly lies in unsuitable footwear.

But what’s a suitable shoe?

Our common shoes don’t meet our anatomical needs and even prevent a healthy posture and movement. They are nearly always much to tight around the toes, they have a rigid construction, also stiff and often heavy soles. Even kids’ shoes have already heels, not to mention the high heels of ladies’ shoes. These shoes – orthopaedic ones and the ones  with footbeds too – provoke muscular atrophy, the arch of the foot collapes already at early ages and toes and joints bend (i.e. hallux valgus). Walking barefoot would be the only alternative. But in this climate, on our streets?

Right now evolves a trend towards healthier footwear, the so-called barefoot-shoe. Because it sounds paradoxical we use the term „minimal-shoe“ instead.

Such barefoot or minimal-shoe meets all following criterias:
• Sufficient room for all of your toes
• Zero drop (no heel)
• Very thin and flexible sole which just prevents from stitch/cut wounds and wet ground (can be slightly thicker for the use in winter)
• Highly comfortable and well-fitting
• Overall flexible and without restrictive reinforcements, allows to practise forefoot-walking

What is forefoot-walking?

Striking on your forefoot first while walking is called forefoot-walking.

It’s for humans a natural way of walking as the German holistic general practitioner and yogini Dr. med. Peter Greb* found out in the seventies already. Until the footwear fashion in Europe changed to stiff soles in the middle ages striking on the forefoot was the common way of walking. Most indigenious folks still strike on their forefeet. Babies – when learning to walk – do it as well.

Due to inappropriate footwear and our innateness to imitation most children change to heel striking already at an early age. Only when we dance, climb stairs, sneak up to someone sleeping or walk barefoot through a meadow and trying not to get hurt we automaticly land on the forefoot first. Or when we run or jogg.

The other way of locomotion is striking on your heels first. Our joints up to the head get burdened with ca. 50 kg with each step. The bones are heavily strained.
Whilst walking on your forefoot your muscles absorb all shocks and your joints are spared. Your posture will improve too. So it’s worth to strike more often on the forefoot (without dictating you how you have to walk).

The good thing is: You can learn and practise forefoot-walking anywhere and at any age! Best do it barefoot or in so-called barefoot shoes like our Aehrenkranz minimal-shoes.

You can find plenty of information about forefoot-walking in the internet.

*book recommendation:
„The true walk“ by Dr. med. Peter Greb
https://tredition.de/autoren/peter-greb-22855/the-true-walk-e-book-100146/

Who or what is Aehrenkranz?

Annette Becker founded Aehrenkranz as an accessory label in 2006. After a time of intense research the idea for a sustainable minimal-shoe made of natural materials was born in December 2016. Annette has a master in Fashion Design from the renowned Burg Giebichenstein in Halle/ Saale and a certificate in Footwear Design and Making from Cordwainers College in London.

Aehrenkranz translates as garland of corn. It is a fertility symbol which stands for a rich harvest through honest work in tune with nature. It was also part of the emblem of the deceased German Democratic Republic – the designer’s origin.

What is your company ethics?

Even if our contribution seems marginal we do our best to keep this beautiful planet alive!

We work sustainable and think ecological, keep our global ressources in mind. It’s important to us to pay fair and to produce local (in Europe) and to hold an account at a regional bank. As far as possible we buy fair traded ethical goods from natural sources – even though some are not (yet) certified fair and organic.

We treat each other honestly, openly and regardfully and believe that work can be joyful and satisfying. We clearly stand up against any kind of discrimination and fascistic ideology, plead for global human rights and speak out for animal rights.

What are your delivery times?

Since we do not know at the beginning which sizes and colours sell the most we will initially only have a limited number of shoes for immediate sale. This can lead to longer waiting times.
We will inform you about ordering options and new entries in our newsletter and on our website and over time enlarge the warehouse for immediate sale.

Don’t miss out any news and subscribe to our mailing list!

What about taxes?

In Germany and within the European Union, we charge the statutory value added tax of 19% and show this in the orders and invoices to the private customers.

For deliveries to so-called third countries – all countries outside the EU – there is no sales tax and the net prices are displayed.

Please note that we have no control over customs or import taxes in your country.

Can I return my goods?

If you have ordered the goods within the EU you have the right to return them in original condition and packaging within fourteen days after you’ve received them without naming a reason. You find more infos under withdrawal. Nevertheless, naming a reason will help improve our products and service and we are happy to get to know your opinion!

Please keep in mind that we are a small team and our working time is limited.
If you are unsure about a return or an exchange, contact other fans at our facebook group or write us an email before you return your goods.

If you have a warranty question please contact us before you return any goods to us. We can probably help you via email, telephone or skype.

I have another question...

If you haven’t found an answer to your question yet you can write us an email. We will get back to you as soon as possible.